Farmed or Wild Salmon?
Stick To Wild Salmon Unless Heart Disease Is A Risk Factor, Risk-Benefit Analysis Of Farmed And Wild Fish Shows
On the one hand, farmed salmon has more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than wild salmon. On the other hand, it also tends to have much higher levels of chemical contaminants that are known to cause cancer, memory impairment and neurobehavioral changes in children. What's a consumer to do?
- For a middle-aged guy who has had a coronary and doesn't want to have another one, the risks from pollutants in the farmed salmon are minor ones, and the omega-3 benefits him in a way that far outstrips the relatively minor risks of the pollutants. If cautious, consumers with a history of heart disease could choose farmed salmon from Chile for their high omega-3 content and relatively lower level of contaminants. Younger consumers without a history of heart disease should consume farmed fish from Chile no more than about six times a year.
- Farmed salmon from North America would be a better second choice than European farmed salmon.
- Consumers should not eat farmed fish from Scotland, Norway and eastern Canada more than three times a year.
- Farmed fish from Maine, western Canada and Washington state should be consumed no more than three to six times a year.
- Wild chum salmon can be consumed safely as often as once a week, pink salmon, Sockeye and Coho about twice a month and Chinook just under once a month.
One suggestion: sardines, smaller in size, contain fewer contaminants.